Aibu to speak to gp about DS and ASD?(72 Posts)
For a while now I've wondered and worried about DS's behaviour and attitude towards things.
For reference, DS is 7 but is 140cm or there abouts, roughly 4ft 6/7 but weighs 7 stone despite us completely limiting his junk food, having healthy balanced diets and encouraging exercise. He has always been on the 99.99th centile for height and weight, never fallen.
Ever since I can remember he has been above average intellectually (this is important I promise). He walked and talked early, is ahead in school, enjoys reading and maths, is very analytical and has rarely put up with "baby nonsense"/role play (his words, for example in nursery he refused to participate in a game where a child wantes him to pretend to be a fire engine because he wasn't and couldn't understand why you would pretend to be one).
However, the flip side of that is slight quirks of his. He has fixated on hair and shoes for a long time. He will wear one pair of shoes until they die a death and then he will have a tantrum that has no end until we find another suitable pair. All shoes must be velcro, no laces allowed and if you try to make him wear lace shoes god help you. His hair can never be touched, never have any product in it and if a barber does put product in it he kicks off big time. If his hair sticks up he throws a major tantrum, think world ending, and he will not leave the house.
Both the shoes and hair issues have causes enormous problems with getting ready.
More recently, the past 3-4 years, he has stopped wearing any trousers that are not jogging bottoms. We even had to source jogging bottoms that looked like jeans for a more formal setting. He point blank refuses to get dressed otherwise.
He has had an obsession with hair and gymnastics for as long as I can remember. He will try to do your hair constantly and doesn't seem to understand when someone has had enough. He fixated on gymnastics and certain gymnasts for a year before we entertained lessons. He now does it religiously around the house.
As a child he found it difficult to understans social cues and norms. He once told a girl at nursery her dog wouls die soon as it was old, after she told him it was 7. He didn't understand why he was in trouble because what he said was factually correct. This type of lack of social awareness has grown and manifested itself in to him being quite critical/open avout appearances of others, his feelings towards others and so on. He cannot seem to see that this is hurtful, and he doesn't do it intentionally.
Progressivly his behaviour has been worsening, with more outbursts. He lies about silly things or things you have seen him do, he picks at the skin around his fingwrs subconsciously, throws temper tantrums, screams and shouts, lies on floors and refuses to get up, covers his ears to block out sound and can become quote aggressive. This has become more frequent and small things will set him off - getting ready in the wrong order; being told to wear a jacket when it is sunny because he cannot understand it might not be warm etc. He also has a habit of forcing himselg to be sick when crying to make matters worse and/or get his point across.
His interactions with other people can also be strained and, at times, different. He has a small handful of close friends, but finds it hard to interact and play with other children. He finds it hard to integrate himself with others and will remain alone until someone speaks to him and so on.
I've also posted before about his issues sleeping and a few posters mentioned their asd children having similar issues. I won't go in to too much depth but the thread should be in my posting history.
In the past a few people have indicated high functioning autism or aspergers syndrome but I've brushed it off. However today we attended a dental appointment whereby he received bad news and he went in to complete overdrive. He refused to listen, became hysterical, threw a hanky at the dentist, covered his ears and tried to run away. Eventaully she suggested we have a pre-visit to the hospital and wanted to arrange play therapy beforehand to make things easier for him to understand due to his needs. When I questioned her she assumed the same as others.
I'm now starting to wonder whether people may be on to something. I'm not excusing his bad behaviour, but the more I read on the subject the more he seems to fit some of the boxes. My only issue is that he doesn't act this way in school, aside from the shoes/clothing/friends and socialising. There are no outbursts.
Wibu to speak to a gp about this and take matters further? Am I barking up the wrong tree completely? Does he sound similar to anyone else's dc with a similar condition?
I think ywnbu. Speaking as the parent of a HF ASC child.
Have you spoken to the SENCO? They presumably know about the trousers etc?
It sounds like you would like a second opinion on whether your son has additional needs. I can hear traits that sound like my niece and she most certainly has additional needs. Ask, push for an assessment if you think you would benefit from additional support but be aware that it takes a LONG time to get a diagnosis.
A lot of that sounds like my DS who has autistic traits but does not meet the criteria for ASD. However, I am not sure how good the current assessment framework is for diagnosing Asperger’s (though DS is socially chatty and outgoing, he misjudges situations - he would totally make the comment about the car, for example, and has told me before that what he is 50 for example, I will be dead). Ditto re the jogging bottoms (I feel your pain there), that have to be a certain brand ( we have several identical pairs). I would think DS would be more likely to meet Asperger’s criteria, but he was language delayed (which rules it out i think).
Ditto the weight issues despite being healthy in terms of food choices and active all the time (does not sit still easily)
Definitely worth getting advice, autism awareness and strategies have helped enormously with DS.
He certainly does have traits. Will approach your GP to see if you can get a referral to a paediatrician. Please don't brush off a potential diagnosis any longer. It's vial he seeks support with his additional needs now than later years to come.
Grockle the only place he doesn't wear jogging bottoms in school. Before P1 we spent the entire summer trying on trousers to no avail. We finally found a company who made "sturdy fit" which gave him the elasticated waste and slight feel of jogging bottoms while being school appropriate. We now only use these trousers.
His wardrobe is literally 10+ jogging bottoms, some of the same duplicated and two that look like denim but aren't, and 2 pairs of school trousers.
He won't wear jogging bottom type shorts though as they are too long (any shorts knee length or below aren't suitable as they aren't short enough and shorts should be short). We have 4 of the same pair from asda, sports type material.
Cath I do sometimes think a secone opinion may be useful, particularly after others say things, but then dismiss the idea as he is doing well in school and so on. It's very confusing and I honestly have no idea where to start.
No one would no longer get a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. It's now the Autism spectrum disorder.
Cocoal the jogging bottoms and shoes thing are enough to turn me grey. They can't evem be slim fit joggers or the old shell suit type material, only baggy, elasticated waist cotton ones in grey or black.
DS was never language delayed and actually has an extensive vocabulary.
His weight and height are a big issue. He is classed as clincally obese and has been since he was born. He is in age 12 clothes and fits them perfectly, a size 3 in shoe etc.
YANBU my DS is 7 he is 4foot8 if not more but as skinny as a rake. He intellectually sounds similar talked super early cast off baby things too early. His foibles are similar he has a style of his own, is obsessed with football and he hates having his hair done. He is also a cheeky spoiled sod at times which we take care off. However all of this is normal and his reactions to those situations are normal he huffs strops sometimes and argues (man can he argue) but this is where it stops. I think your DS's reactions to very normal 7 year old situations sound extreme my DN was the same and he has high functioning SN so it was difficult to diagnose, he was 8 maybe 9 before they did. Persevere and good luck
Don't leave it until you're sure he needs a diagnosis because they take so long to get. It certainly sounds like you have enough reasons for concern to take it up with the GP.
You say that he is doing well in school, I assume you mean academically? It would be worth having a meeting with the school, discussing your concerns and your plan to go to the GP and to ask them if they have noticed anything. They may have observed odd behaviour but not reported it, and your concerns might help them join the dots. You could then also tell the doc what they say about it.
He could have sensory issues OP. You just don't know. I agree with Cath and push for a diagnosis now and get support. What happens if his behaviour gets worse ? What happens if he reaches his teens and your dealing with a very aggressive, highly anxious child ? It's good to get support now so when your DS comes to that stage, you will know certain strategies that will help your DS.
It is known that some inmates in prison have undiagnosed additional needs. Who would know if they had the right support in their younger years, they wouldn't of been put behind bars.
Ah yes we have the 1 acceptable school item. Everything else has to fit the rules. No jeans, nothing fitted etc etc.
Yes, you should speak to your GP about this with the view of getting referred onward for assessment by a developmental paediatrician. And you should get the ball rolling because referrals can take a long time.
Noble yes academically he does very well.
He also fixates on food and has a limited repertoire of what he eats (we blend veggies in to things to get them in to him etc).
I have 2 dd with ASD. They are 'perfect' at school. It's not unusual that a child can develop coping mechanisms to mask at school, then the challenges can really manifest at home. I'd book an appointment with the GP and familiarise yourself with the triad of impairments and ask for a referral - good luck!
How do I go about starting things. Do I take DS to the GP or can I go alone? I know if I take him it just won't go well and will be difficult to discuss my concerns.
I'd have a think about what it is you want from a diagnosis? Considering that presumably he is doing well academically.
He's unlikely to receive much help with social skills in a mainstream setting. He won't qualify for speech intervention on the NHS if he speaks well - despite struggling with what you should/shouldn't say.
Any social skills help my ds with hfa has had we have had to pay for privately.
He was diagnosed age 3 so it went over his head. I'm not sure I would want to go through the diagnostic process with a 7 yr old.
Ah, it took me to year 3 to discover Sturdy Kids (which is where we get school shorts/trousers now). Total meltdowns kicking and screaming on shop floors looking for school trousers. Last year it was grey joggers adapted to look like trousers.
DS is also diagnosed with sensory issues. The strategies there were really helpful, if only to understand that he processes sensory information differently. It explains a lot of the physical behaviour too (seeking sensory input). Though the autism assessment team said he did not display any sensory issues despite him not staying still! The paediatric OT says seeking physical input (activity) is a sensory issue.
So I will probably be back looking for clarity in a year or so; for the moment, they have picked up some traits but that is all. Our second opinion centre (can be referred, not sure if will go down that route yet) does list Asperger’s and autism separately. I understand that the ICD-10/DSM criteria don’t any more.
I think having a clearer idea of how he processes the world, knowing that it's not my failures as a parent, accessing support and finding ways of supporting him.
It's not about schooling, speech or benefits. It's about, potentially, not dealing with this alone.
From your description of your son, I think it definitely would be more than appropriate to discuss your concerns with the GP to ask for a referral for him to be assessed for ASD.
As others have said for your sons well being it really is essential to be diagnosed at a young age rather than store up major issues for later on in life. I'm puzzled though as to why the school haven't had any worries about him?
I went alone to the GP to ask for my DD to be referred. This was just if a year ago and she has been seen a few times by CAHMS and we are awaiting a final diagnosis (or not) appointment. I would absolutely discuss with your GP. Write things down, even little bullet points as it's amazing what you forget. Our GP listened while I rattled off a big list, then he asked a few questions before agreeing to refer DD. School themselves told us the GP route would be quicker than school calling in the Ed-psych to initialise things.
He's unlikely to receive much help with social skills in a mainstream setting. He won't qualify for speech intervention on the NHS if he speaks well - despite struggling with what you should/shouldn't say
Yes he can. The teacher or TA can facilitate social skills groups .... I worked with a boy who has really high verbal skills but struggled with more of the social use of language/ interpreting facial expressions/ saying inappropriate things. He was seen by a speech therapist, twice a term, who would work with him and then give myself and the teacher strategies on what he can do to help him.
However, the parents did have to put up a fight to get this for him.
You can ask the school or GP to begin the process. The GP may possibly pass it back to the school. I would see the class teacher, taking a list of the things you have written here.
There are some indicators of ASD traits and it's worth getting it checked out.
I also second people who say that modification of behaviour is common in school. Children can hold it in all day and 'explode' when at home. Sometimes the school may be unwilling to help as they don't see an issue - hence taking the list in. How does he sleep? How are his social interactions?
Good luck OP. I honestly believe diagnosis (if he has one) can be a useful tool for parents and children to understand what it happening.
We're Scotland so it'll be CAMHS who deal with things too if it gets that far.
In school silly things like noticing he can make up far fetched stories, being quite analytical, socialising have been mentioned but he has no bad behaviour so isn't as much of a concern as others.
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